in and about London, and in the same year became a member of the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel. After the death of Anne, Gastrell opposed the whig ministry in the House of Lords. On 6 Dec. 1716 his only son died of small-pox, and was buried in Christ Church Cathedral. In 1717 he warmly defended the university of Oxford when it was attacked in the House of Lords for a pretended riot on the birthday of the Prince of Wales. In 1719, out of zeal for the honour of the university, he was involved in a contest with the crown and the Archbishop of Canterbury as to the legal qualification for the wardenship of Manchester College. Samuel Peploe [q. v.] had been presented by George I, and obtained the necessary qualification of the B.D. degree from Archbishop Wake instead of going to Oxford. The court of king's bench declared in Peploe's favour. Gastrell vindicated himself in ‘The Bishop of Chester's Case with relationship to the Wardenship of Manchester. In which is shown that no other degrees but such as are taken at the University can be deemed legal qualifications for any ecclesiastical preferment in England.’ This was printed at both universities in folio, 1721. The university of Oxford decreed in full convocation a vote of thanks to the bishop. In 1723 Gastrell strongly opposed the bill for inflicting pains and penalties upon Atterbury, and censured the rest of the bishops, who, with the exception of Dawes, archbishop of York, concurred in the measure. In 1725 Gastrell published anonymously his ‘Moral Proof of the Certainty of a Future State,’ of which a few copies, printed a year before, had been given to friends. It was reissued in 1728.
On 24 Nov. 1725 he died of gout at Christ Church. Hearne asserts (manuscript Diary, cx. 56) that he refused to take a bottle of port wine which might have saved him, saying that he would rather die than drink. In his will he desires if he should die at Chester then to be buried there, but if at any other place as near his dear child as possible at Christ Church. He was accordingly buried at Christ Church. Upon the death of his wife in the parish of St. Margaret, Westminster, 31 Jan. 1761, a monument was erected at Christ Church. The bishop left an only daughter, Rebecca, who married Francis Bromley, D.D., rector of Wickham, Hampshire, second son of the Right Hon. William Bromley of Baginton (1664–1732) [q. v.], and was left a widow in 1753.
In one of Hearne's manuscript notebooks for 17 Jan. 1728 he says: ‘Yesterday I called upon Dr. Stratford, Canon of Ch. Ch., who gave me a print of the late Bp. of Chester, Dr. Gastrell, curiously done by Vertue at the charges of the present Earl of Oxford, from a paint by Dahl.’ Gastrell is frequently mentioned by Swift in terms of admiration. He seems to have been the first prelate who truly conceived what the duties of a diocesan bishop ought to be. Consequently he compiled a thorough record of every parish, church, school, and ecclesiastical institution in his diocese. It is entitled ‘Notitia Cestriensis, or the Historical Notices of the Diocese of Chester, by the Rt. Rev. Francis Gastrell, D.D., Lord Bishop of Chester.’ This has been printed from the original manuscript for the Chetham Society, with illustrative notes and a memoir by the Rev. F. R. Raines, M.A., incumbent of Milnrow, in vols. viii. xix. xxi. and xxii. of the Chetham Society's Papers, Manchester, 1845–50, 4to. ‘One of the most accomplished historians of the present day,’ says Mr. Raines, ‘declares this the noblest document extant on the subject of the ecclesiastical antiquities of the diocese.’ Peploe was appointed Gastrell's successor in the see of Chester. ‘This is done,’ says Tom Hearne, ‘to insult the ashes of Bp. Gastrell.’
[Memoir by the Rev. F. Raines in Chetham Society's Transactions; Hearne's manuscript Diaries in the Bodleian Library. The notice of Gastrell in the Biog. Brit. is said to be by Browne Willis.]
GATACRE, THOMAS (d. 1593), divine, was younger son of William Gatacre of Gatacre Hall, Shropshire, where the family had maintained an uninterrupted succession from the time of Edward the Confessor. His parents, zealous Roman catholics, intended him for the law, and he was admitted a student of the Middle Temple about 1553. John Popham, afterwards lord chief justice, was a fellow-student, and became his intimate friend. Some of Gatacre's kindred were ‘high in place,’ and while visiting them he was present at the examinations of protestant confessors, whose constancy impressed him in favour of their opinions. With a view to confirm him in the old faith, his parents removed him to the English college at Louvain, at the same time settling on him an estate which brought in 100l. a year. Finding him strengthened in his protestantism after six months at Louvain, his father recalled him to England, obtained his consent to the revocation of the settlement, and cast him off. Gatacre found friends, who provided him with the means of studying for eleven years at Oxford, and for four years at Magdalene College, Cambridge. There is no record of his graduation. In 1568 he was ordained deacon and priest by Grindal, bishop of London, and